Steven Williams Pleads Guilty to Murder of Hae Soon Lim

Steven Vondell Williams pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Hae Soon Lim; he is scheduled to be sentenced June 21.

Lim, 65, was found lying on the floor behind the counter of Grace Deli, the business she owned at the intersection of 7th and H Street Northeast. She suffered from a single gunshot wound to the back of her neck.

The plea agreement states that on June 14, 2012, a police security camera located one block from Grace Deli recorded a vehicle that looked to be Lim’s park directly in front of the deli at around 5:30 a.m. A person then crosses H Street and interacts with the person who exited the vehicle.

Police believe that the person who exited the vehicle was Lim, the documents say that the distance and the resolution of the camera make it difficult to determine the nature of the interaction.

Police found an empty handgun holster next to Lim’s body. Williams’ DNA was recovered from the holster, and from an empty cash register located behind the counter.

A press release from the US Attorney’s office is below. Plea documents have been added to this post.

District Man Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Murder While Armed In Slaying of Northeast Washington Deli Owner-DNA Linked the Defendant to the Crime Scene-

WASHINGTON – Steven Williams, 46, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to a charge of second-degree murder while armed in the June 2012 slaying of the owner of a Northeast Washington delicatessen, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

Williams pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Robert E. Morin scheduled sentencing for June 17, 2013. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 40 years in prison. Under the plea agreement, the government will ask for no more than 28 years of incarceration, and the defendant will seek no less than 20 years in prison.

According to the government’s evidence, the victim, Hae Soon Lim, 64, was found by police on June 14, 2012, at about 6:15 a.m., on the floor of her delicatessen, Grace’s Deli, in the 700 block of H Street NE. Her vehicle was found parked directly outside. An autopsy determined that Ms. Lim died from a single gunshot wound that entered through the back of her neck.

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has a crime surveillance camera located a block away from the delicatessen at 8th and H Streets NE. A review of the video from the camera showed that a vehicle consistent with the appearance of the vehicle belonging to Ms. Lim pulled up and parked in front of the deli at about 5:25 a.m. on June 14, 2012. The video also shows a single person, believed to be the victim, leaving the vehicle and walking toward the restaurant.

The video then shows, moments later, a single person crossing H Street rapidly on foot, moving toward the front entrance of the restaurant, where that person then proceeds to interact in close proximity with the person believed to be Ms. Lim.

An empty, brown handgun holster was found on the floor directly next to Ms. Lim’s body. DNA from that holster revealed a match to the defendant. Williams’s DNA was also recovered from an empty cash register located inside the restaurant, behind the counter and out of reach from the customer area.

Williams was charged with the murder in November 2012 and remains in custody.

In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of those who investigated the case for the MPD. He also commended the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael C. Liebman and Justin Dillon, who investigated and prosecuted the matter.

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